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Comment: Not about de-orbiting anything (Score 2) 148

by PSaltyDS (#35507218) Attached to: NASA Wants To Zap Space Junk With Lasers

In reply comments at the bottom of TFA you see they are NOT talking about de-orbiting things this way, only making minute changes in orbit to avoid collisions.

Perhaps preventing collisions allows natural decay to remove debris faster than it accumulates, but other than that, their plan was not about de-orbit of debris.

Comment: Why treat SSN as a secret authentication factor? (Score 4, Insightful) 391

by PSaltyDS (#35290482) Attached to: Why Google Wants Your Kid's SSN

It gets my blood pressure up a bit every time I read about "revealing" someone's SSN as having penetrated an inner sanctum. The password-secret treatment of that number needs to be dropped. It's time for legislation in the US that makes it invalid and indefensible in court to treat knowledge of an SSN as an authentication factor. Any organization that treats knowledge of the SSN as an authentication factor should be fully liable for the consequences of any fraud that results.

Note I'm talking about authentication, not identification. Nobody thinks Google shouldn't be able to identify the contestants, and an SSN is more unique than names. The problem only comes from the ability to use that number as a "password" to authenticate for access to things (like bank accounts). Treating the SSN as a "username" would not cause the problem; it's using it as an authenticating secret despite the fact that it's easily accessible that makes revealing it a terrible security lapse.

Knowing your SSN should be no more helpful to a fraudster than knowing your full name or hair color. It should be treated as information too readily available to be of any use for authentication. Reliance on that kind of information for authentication should be evidence of failure in due diligence, and lead to liability for that inappropriate reliance. If your bank lets someone take all the money out of your account just because they know your full name they should be liable. If they do just because they knew your SSN it should be treated the same way.

Comment: Or even more likely, 'DC' (Score 1) 314

by PSaltyDS (#34653554) Attached to: Navy Uses Railgun To Launch Fighter Jet

On re-reading the grandparent post, it seems even more likely it was just a typo of 'DC' for Damage Control. I say that because it wasn't referring to actual steam lines, but rather drains.

Some auxiliary steam lines might be zebra fittings and secured for General Quarters, but steam to primary mission systems like the catapults on a carrier would only be secured if actually damaged, not as a precaution. Most drains however are secured for condition zebra.

So it was more like "...steam lines, leading to condensation, requiring additional drains... and the additional DC valves to go with them."

Comment: Perhaps Zebra (Score 1) 314

by PSaltyDS (#34653190) Attached to: Navy Uses Railgun To Launch Fighter Jet

'DZ' may be a broken reference to "Zebra Fittings", meaning valves that must be shut in every compartment when the ship goes to material condition Zebra (as for General Quarters or Battle Stations). Electrical systems are controlled at a central switchboard, but at every point where a steam line crosses a water-tight bulkhead, there will be additional valves that can be secured to isolate that space for damage control purposes. Those valves bring additional maintenance themselves.

The 'D' means that fitting would be secured for Darken Ship also, which would be odd for a steam valve. An external door would be marked 'DZ', or "Dog Zebra", because you would secure it for either condition Zebra or for Darken Ship.

Comment: Re:GPLv2 Plus "Non-GPL" (Score 1) 127

by PSaltyDS (#32981770) Attached to: Is Open Source SNORT Dead?

Roger that. An AC posted the relevant part of the Contribution agreement above:
"User hereby irrevocably and perpetually assigns, transfers, conveys and sets over to OISF, and OISF hereby accepts the assignment, transfer, conveyance and set over, User's entire worldwide and perpetual right, title and interest in and to the Materials including but not limited to all Intellectual Property Rights in the Materials. User will give OISF or its designee all assistance reasonably required to register, perfect, enforce and apply for and obtain in OISF's name patent, copyright, trademark and other Intellectual Property Rights in any and all jurisdictions"

I guess the remaining question is, does SNORT use the same smelly tactic?

Comment: GPLv2 Plus "Non-GPL" (Score 2, Interesting) 127

by PSaltyDS (#32977810) Attached to: Is Open Source SNORT Dead?

From the OISF Download page:

"The Suricata Engine and the HTP Library are available to use under the GPLv2."

Followed on page 2 of same by this:
"Membership in the OISF Consortium Group provides a non-gpl limited license for the Suricata IDS engine in return for ongoing support. There are multiple tiers available for consortium participation that simplify the varying levels of support and involvement possible for all types of interest. Contributions may range from man hours in development assistance, technology donations, hardware and infrastructure, to financial assistance."

I get that if the code is their copyright, they can dual license at will. But doesn't the above mean any contributions from either a community or "Membership" cannot themselves be GPL, since any code accepted will in turn be distributed "non-gpl" among the membership? Also, are there "multiple tiers" of "non-gpl limited license"?


Mars Images Reveal Evidence of Ancient Lakes 128

Posted by timothy
from the older-I-get-the-wetter-mars-was dept.
Matt_dk writes "Spectacular satellite images suggest that Mars was warm enough to sustain lakes three billion years ago, a period that was previously thought to be too cold and arid to sustain water on the surface, according to research published today in the journal Geology. Earlier research had suggested that Mars had a warm and wet early history but that between 4 billion and 3.8 billion years ago, before the Hesperian Epoch, the planet lost most of its atmosphere and became cold and dry. In the new study, the researchers analysed detailed images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is currently circling the red planet, and concluded that there were later episodes where Mars experienced warm and wet periods."

Comment: Is there a plan for equipment failure? (Score 1) 258

by PSaltyDS (#29995890) Attached to: LaserMotive Finds Success In Space Elevator Competition

Is there an obvious plan for the crawler failing half way up the cable? In this test you just set it down with the chopper, but what do you do half way to geosync orbit?

I guess a second crawler has to go up underneath the failed one, trigger some kind of mechanical release and carry its dead weight down.

Computer Science is merely the post-Turing decline in formal systems theory.